ASTM International has launched a new Internet-based system designed to initiate, develop and track draft standards and revisions before and during their balloting stage.

The new Work Item Registration system is significant because it adds increased openness and transparency to ASTM's consensus standards-development process, the standards-development organization says. Anyone around the world who wants to know whether ASTM is developing or revising a specific standard can access the information using the new system. Users will be able to perform keyword searches, sign up for a free e-mail advisory service that provides notification of new work items in their areas of interest, and view a committee's jurisdiction for the item in question.

"Transparency in the standards-development process has always been one of the guiding principles at ASTM," says James Thomas, president of ASTM International. "With the launch of our Work Item Registration system, we have taken transparency to an even higher level."

The new system also improves access and involvement for ASTM members at every stage of the standards-development process, Thomas says. It enables them to register work items and develop streamlined ballot items for standards.

"The added openness, available to everybody, contributes to a better understanding of the work being performed by ASTM members," Thomas says. "This attracts more interested parties and increases international application of ASTM standards."

ASTM's Work Item Registration system is available at the Society's Web site,